celebrating the fifty days of easter

as Lent was drawing to a close, i started to think about our Easter celebrations…planning menus (lamb grilled out in the rain with homemade pita and olives) and cleaning mostly.  but then i began to think beyond the initial feast day.  we could celebrate all the way through Ascension and into Pentecost.  was anyone else–the homeschool mamas who i read regularly–thinking about this?  we all planned our Lenten fasts diligently; plans were in place weeks before the fast began.  but what about the feast?

i happened across Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda, and she was talking about the Great 50 Days.  specifically she was talking about The Garden of the Good Shepherd, a sticker calendar to count the days much like an Advent calendar.  now i don’t usually just buy things, especially sight unseen, but it seemed like an answer to my heart’s prayer for some way to mark these days of glory.  so i ordered it!  it came today and  is just lovely.  Tomie dePaola’s simple, evocative illustrations are just right.  it also comes with a song for each week and a simple scripture and devotional reading for each day.  this is an excellent resource, and i can’t wait to see how the days unfold.

i’ve also made a list (what else?!) of ideas to help me remember simple, commonplace ways to bring Easter joy into our house.  i’d love to hear how you and your family are celebrating.

say YES!

keep it simple

  • light a candle and share a pot of tea or hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • set the table with a pretty tablecloth even though it will get dirty
  • put an extra dollop of sour cream on the beans and rice
  • practice the pascal greeting in another language
  • read just one more story
  • breastfeed!

be merciful

  • clean up their mess
  • come alongside and join the children in their work
  • revel in the mess of blanket forts and art supplies and muddy shoes
  • let mercy start with you.  you have 50 days.  make a new beginning.


  • listen to music
  • make music
  • let music lighten the mood and ease the transitions

let joy be your strength

take time

  • collect your child with your gaze
  • be fast, but never hurry (thanks, John Wooden!)
  • take a nap together; cuddle

bring in the green

  • sprout something
  • collect fresh flowers–oh lilacs!
  • tend the garden

don’t let perfectionism (fear, really) dictate what your days look like


remember to let the common spill into the holy

  • bathtime recalls our baptism
  • meals together recall the eucharist
  • practice the laying on of hands with tickles, wrestling, back rubs, and hair brushing


  1. I am so glad you like the calendar. I really do worry and sometimes hesitate to recommend resources for fear that someone will find themselves saddled with something they really don’t want and wondering what I was thinking. And in the language of my grandparents, I wish you a hearty…Kristus vstal a mrtvych! I’ll let you figure out what language it is! : )

  2. Opravdi vstoupil, Charlotte!

    thanks for the challenge of finding the right language!

    the Good Shepherd Calendar is a wonderful, rich resource. our shepherd and sheep are hiding behind a bowl of sprouted wheat grass! thanks for pointing us in the right direction…

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